Uniquely Canadian Spiced Rum Review (with Lumberjack Kryptonite Cocktail Recipe)

Reader Contribution by Sue Van Slooten
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Usually the words Canadian, spiced rum, boreal herbs and spices, don’t go together. Enter Chic Choc Spiced Rum by Domaine Pinnacle. Usually I write about food, but this time, it’s drink. One does need a little spice in one’s life, after all.

Chic Choc (pronounced Shick Shock) is the perfect way to take a trendy, out of the usual, visit to rustic, eastern Quebec. The Chic Choc Mountains not far from the St. Lawrence Seaway, to be exact.

Mountains? Spice? Oui

Chic Choc starts out life like many rums, mainly in the Caribbean countries of Jamaica, Barbados or Trinidad. Sugar cane gives rise to molasses, which of course can result in rum. The rum then travels northward to Quebec, where it is aged again, about three-eight years, then is infused with six boreal herbs and spices: Peppery Green Alder, lovage root, Pine Forest Spikenard, Whiterod Berries, Sweet Gale Seeds, and Wild Angelica. Not once, but twice. In other words, a Nordic approach to your flavourings.

The Chic Choc Mountains were in fact chosen because the six herbs and spices all grow in that region. I like spiced rum, it’s the rum I prefer rather than the un-spiced versions, so when I heard about this, my ears perked up.

I was also able to secure an interview with the brand ambassador and mixologist for Domaine, Joshua Groom, to get more insight into how this unique product came about, as well as his recipe for the cocktail Lumberjack Kryptonite. Recipe follows. Intrigued? Read on. (I paraphrased some of Joshua’s responses for space reasons.)

Sue: What was the inspiration for this rum?

Joshua: Canada has a long rum history, especially in and near the Maritimes. Chic Choc is a continuation of that tradition. They wanted to create a unique rum that a lot of people would enjoy.

Sue: Why the Chic Choc Mountains?

Joshua: All six of the herbs and spices are native in this region, and they were looking for a balance of several flavours, for example bitter, sweet, peppery.

Sue: What do you do at Domaine Pinnacle?

Joshua: I am their brand ambassador around the world.  I really love my job, as I get to travel around the world.  Last week I was in Scotland, for example. (Please note: Domaine also produces Ungava gin, so gin-making experience undoubtedly helps in producing a spiced rum.)

Sue: How did you come up with this particular cocktail, the Lumberjack Kryptonite?

Joshua: Firstly, we wanted to make sure all the elements are showcased and balanced with the spiced rum. With the Fernet Branca bitters and sherry, we wanted to create a trendy cocktail, something that would appeal to the bartending community as well as the hipster. It started as almost a joke cocktail, because the hipsters wear a lot of plaid {like lumberjack’s jackets}.

Sue: Well, I’m sure you’re busy, thank you very much for your time!

That concluded the interview, as Joshua was off to create a cocktail for Hugo Boss. 

So, what is in this cocktail that lumberjacks and plaid wearing hipsters want to drink? Without further adieu, here’s the recipe. Please note, Chic Choc Spiced Rum will be coming to the United States soon, stay tuned.

Lumberjack Kryptonite Recipe


• 30 ml or 1 oz, Chic Choc Spiced Rum
• 15 ml or 0.5 oz Fernet Branca*
• 15 ml or .0.5 oz Luxardo Maraschino (I used – gasp – maraschino cherry juice.  Joshua said simple syrup could also be used.)
• 15 ml or 0.5 oz medium sherry
• Orange zest (Keeping with the cherry theme, I used a cherry.)

Here’s how I did it (not being a bartender): In a large glass measure or similar item, I put in ice cubes, then poured the liquid ingredients over the ice. Stir. I then strained the whole affair into a glass. Makes one cocktail.

How did it taste? Very nice. This is a complex cocktail, and the flavours are very nuanced. Also, very balanced between the bitters, sherry and rum. Not any one stood out over the other. The colour was a beautiful russet or burgundy.

*The Fernet Branca is a bitter, any good bitter can be substituted if you can’t get your hands on the Fernet. Not being a bitters person myself, I do say this is absolutely essential to the cocktail.

This was a neat blog to do, but please, drink responsibly, and don’t ever drink and drive.

Important notes:

This is the main website for Domaine Pinnacle. It tells you more about the company, along with tons more recipes. Last accessed March 30, 2016. This is the Wikipedia page for basic info about the Chic Choc Mountains, with photos and map. Last accessed March 30, 2016.

You can followSue van Slooten’s adventures at www.SVanSlooten.com, and you can email her at suevanslooten@ripnet.com. Sue teaches cooking and baking classes at her home on beautiful Big Rideau Lake, Rideau Lakes Township, Ontario. She specializes in small classes for maximum benefit. Give her a call, sign up for a class, and she’d love to see you. Read all of Sue’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS postshere.

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